Pastors, rabbis and imams were challenged to consider what our sacred texts and moral traditions say about paying just wages. The fight to increase the minimum wage was about more than poor people’s struggle to survive. It was also a moral struggle for a common life in which we do not rob God, as the biblical texts might have it, by exploiting low-income workers.
Just as the civil rights movement worked to shift decades-old debates over Jim Crow from a struggle between state’s rights and federal authority to a fundamental question of whether America was going to live up to the promises of its creeds, the Fight for 15 has built a consensus in America that income inequality isn’t just about workers’ rights. It’s about whether we will become a nation where all people’s dignity is recognized by just pay for honest work. If Democrats in Congress don’t do everything in their power to write this moral consensus into law, they will have a hard time making the case for poor and low-income voters to support them in 2022.